Clashing titans: Microsoft vs. Adobe
July 8th, 2008

“Microsoft and Adobe [are] in a duel to become the dominant Internet software platform,” writes Ben Bajarin in PajamasMedia. Here is the essence of the clash that is heating up between Microsoft and yet another titan:

It’s easy to forget that, like Microsoft, Adobe also touches millions of people daily – though to a lesser degree . . .except for one incredible product: Flash. Flash software has been the industry standard for glossy/multimedia/interactive web experiences for about a decade now and it continues to gain developer attention and mind share. It is the Windows of multimedia. And Microsoft wants that market.

Adobe has several tricks up its sleeve to maintain its lead. For example, the underlying architecture for Flash is called “Flex” and it runs in the Adobe Integrated Runtime Environment or “AIR.” This combination is crucial for Adobe because it is likely that someday all computing applications and processor heavy lifting will migrate from the local desktop to the Internet. When that happens, the world will need a standard Internet platform to run on — and right now, Adobe AIR is the leading contender.

But now Microsoft is making its move.

Obviously, with Internet Explorer, Microsoft already owns the main consumer conduit to the web. But the world is changing fast, and Microsoft is racing to adapt. In particular, in the world of software, power has shifted to the developers – and they care less about the plumbing than the tools. Microsoft understands this and has developed its own proprietary programming environment, its Flash Killer, called Silverlight.


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